Rep. Matt Gaetz was questioned by CNN’s Jake Tapper about comments he made in private regarding Speaker Kevin McCarty being responsible for Gaetz’s ethics inquiry. A House Committee investigation into Gaetz for sexual misconduct, illegal substances, and misuse of finances is underway. Gaetz claims McCarthy and his supporters have been investigating him for two years because they are hellbent on ruining his name.
After McCarthy was removed from office, he claimed that Gaetz had a personal vendetta against him because Gaetz felt McCarthy could have blocked the inquiries. A parallel investigation of sex trafficking of a minor was dropped in February, leading Gaetz to think that McCarthy should have protected him from these inquiries, leveraging the dropping of the other charges (when it was revealed it was an extortion plot against Gaetz) as evidence.
After being defeated in a historic vote that caused a civil war inside the Republican Party, McCarthy has stated he will not compete for Speaker of the House. McCarthy held a press conference that ranged from aggressive to laugh-filled, criticizing Democrats, particularly its longstanding leader, Nancy Pelosi, and his adversary, Matt Gaetz.
With Congress facing a deadline on November 17 to avoid another government shutdown, McCarthy’s move will open the floodgates for Republican candidates and could lead to weeks of instability within the party. House Republicans huddled in private to discuss the aftermath of the historic vote that made McCarthy the first Speaker to have his gavel taken away by fellow lawmakers in the 234-year history of the United States Congress. While running for speaker, McCarthy said he had a conversation with Nancy Pelosi about the conservatives’ demand that he change House rules so that a single legislator could propose the motion to “vacate the chair,” the first effort to unseat the speaker.
Ultimately, McCarthy blamed the Democrats for the move to oust him.
So far, no one has made a formal run for office. The House Democrats will hold a nomination meeting Wednesday morning to select their speaker candidate. Their leader, Hakeem Jeffries, who ran (and failed) for speaker in January, is widely predicted to be their selection.